Although many people aren't enamored with coupe-style vehicles, the Hyundai Elantra could be one the exceptions.
What's the reason? This coupe actually provides a fairly comfortable backseat, which is extremely difficult to find. And the Elantra coupe has other enviable qualities that make it immediately a solid choice in its class.
However, note that the Elantra is like every other coupe that's probably ever been made: -- getting in and out of this two-door vehicle is a pain in the butt.
2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe
Performance: 1.8-liter, four-cylinder, 148 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 27-37 mpg
Price: $17,445 to $20,745
Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; corrosion 7 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 5 years/unlimited
The coupe is one of two new Elantra offerings for 2013. The other one is the Elantra GT, which replaces the Elantra Touring in Hyundai's compact-car lineup.
Both the coupe and GT are engaging vehicles that should be appealing to youthful car buyers that are seeking a sporty compact.
Ironically, while Hyundai was adding a new coupe with two trim models, both Chevrolet and Ford recently dropped coupe body styles from their compact lineups.
Three years ago, Hyundai took a bold step forward by altering the Elantra exterior design, making it a standout among its mostly stoic competitors who lacked style.
While Hyundai didn't design the coupe much differently than the Elantra sedan, there are some differences. The coupe's fog lights are more angular and it comes with a black bumper. The coupe does resemble the sedan in appearance with its arching roofline and grille style.
The Elantra coupe has an appealing look and several other strong attributes as well. The coupe starts at a reasonable price ($17,445), gets great gas mileage (27-37 mpg), features a sizable trunk, admirable handling, and has that great Hyundai drivetrain warranty - 10 years/100,000 miles.
Some car buyers might be turned off by the coupe's lone engine, a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder that delivers 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. The coupe has a smooth six-speed manual transmission that comes standard. It has good passing power and offers a fun factor for a small, commuter vehicle.
Some experts feel the Elantra coupe's performance is similar to the Honda Civic.
The coupe can stack up fairly well against its competitors in driving impressions as well. The Elantra has a nimble feel and is very responsive in the turning department. It absorbs the bumps well for a compact car and another plus is the strong braking.
Besides a comfortable interior, other positives include smart center stack, easy-to-read gauges, and the dashboard is soft-touch material. The trunk is surprisingly large at 14.8 cubic feet.
The 2013 Elantra Coupe is a well-rounded compact vehicle that will be a welcome edition to the Hyundai lineup. It compares favorably to the Honda Civic and other top rivals like the Scion tC, Kia Forte and the Volkswagen Beetle.